Previous Ignition Interlock Protocol
Interviewer: What has changed recently? What was the law until now? What’s changed regarding ignition interlocks and DUI in Connecticut?
Steven Tomeo: The way the law applied before was that if you had a first-offense DUI, you plead out, received a conviction, and it was just your first offense. Then you received the 45-day suspension and then one year with the ignition interlock device. If you received a second conviction, you received the 45-day suspension plus three years with the ignition interlock device. If you received the third conviction, you received the indefinite suspension.
They used to call it a lifetime suspension, and then after you wouldn’t be able to drive under any circumstances for two years. Then at the end of two years, you could make an application to get your license back. You had to do some things for that. You had to take a course. You had to get a letter from a physician saying that you are not alcohol or drug dependent. In addition to that you had to go the state police and get fingerprinted and then they would do a nationwide check to make sure that from your last DUI to the point of your hearing, or at least within 30 days of your hearing, you had had no DUI arrests throughout the United States.
If you were a first offender, and you had received your first DUI, never had a conviction for DUI at any time in your lifetime and not taken the alcohol education program within 10 years, you were able to get a suspension from the DMV. Now, if this was your first time, that suspension at the Department of Motor Vehicles was either 90 days or 120 days, and for those 90 days or 120 days you could get a work permit to drive to and from work and during the course of your employment.
If you had a refusal situation, then on the refusal you would get a six-month suspension if this was your first time and you could not drive for the first three months of the six-month suspension and then the second three months of the six-month suspension you could get a work permit.
Now, the way I understand the change in it is even if you get the alcohol education program, you’re going to have an ignition interlock device component.
Anytime you receive a DUI in Connecticut, whether it’s administrative or through the court – administrative meaning a DMV suspension or a conviction in the court – you’re going to have an ignition interlock component with the suspension.